Policy positions matter, and its important that voters know where candidates stand. A lot of things have been said or insinuated this election cycle that don't have a lot to do with public policy or the issues that voters care about. Voters need to discern the differences between candidates if they are to make an informed choice. So, I have taken a few moments to highlight a few key differences between me and my opponent.
Rep. Jeremy Peterson - I have been self-employed as a small business owner since college. I work in the real estate industry as a Real Estate Broker and Property Manager and have been in the industry 12 years. My work puts me on the front lines of the free market everyday. I understand how government action affects the everyday lives of our people and our economy.
Kathie Darby - A retired IRS employee where she served for years as upper management. She also serves on many local boards of charitable and non-profit organizations.
Your Money Your Taxes
Rep. Jeremy Peterson - I have worked to lower state taxes whenever possible. In 2012 I ran a bill that reduced taxes $24 million. I also voted against the property tax increase and gas tax increase of 2015.
Kathie Darby - She wants to increase government spending and increase taxes.
Rep. Jeremy Peterson - Education Funding is a perennial issue and hotly debated at the Capitol. Since all of our income tax pays for our education system, it is important to keep existing tax credits under control. I have passed legislation to provide oversight of these precious funds and I am running legislation to reign in out of control credits as well. These efforts will help stabilize and provide predictability to funding our education programs.
Kathie Darby - She says she wants to increase spending without raising taxes. But, she has not declared which ongoing state programs she would cut to do so.
Rep. Jeremy Peterson - I have supported many of the clean air proposals that have been brought to the Legislature. Most importantly, I supported the effort to convert our local refineries to Tier III fuel standards. Tier III fuels burn cleaner and converting our local gas supply to Tier III would have the largest impact in improving air quality during inversions.
Kathie Darby - She supports stricter building codes, expanding Salt Lake City's no-idle ordinance, and opposes Utah's coal industry. Read more.
Utah's Public Lands
Rep. Jeremy Peterson - Utah's economy and education budget is severely constrained by the amount of land locked up under Federal control. Utah has been seeking to take control of Federal public lands (NOT National Parks by the way) and make them Utah public lands instead. Why? Presently, all mineral severance taxes on Federal land pay only 50% to the state. If Utah controlled these lands, 100% of those taxes would flow to state coffers. Control of our public lands would double our state revenues from this pre-existing source. I support Utah controlling its own lands. Do you trust a distance Congress to govern our land, or do you trust the local guy you can call on the phone at any time and talk about your concerns? I trust local control over Federal control.
Kathie Darby - She trusts Federal control over local control.
Full Medicaid Expansion
Rep. Jeremy Peterson - I opposed full Medicaid Expansion on grounds that it was a budgetary disaster in the making. Now, let's say you want to purchase a product but there is no price listed, the clerk tells you he thinks he might know what the cost is but isn't sure. He proposes you buy it by writting a blank check to him and take the product home. Then, when he figures out what the product really costs, he will fill in the check and deposit it at his convenience. Would you do this? Most of us wouldn't. And that is what full Medicaid Expansion was asking us to do. It would be impossible for us to budget for all of our existing programs with the blank check floating out there. This is why I supported and co-sponsored incremental Medicaid expansion that passed the house last year and had a fixed cost to the program.
Kathie Darby - She supports full Medicaid expansion.
Race and Diversity
Rep. Jeremy Peterson - I have served as a member of the Governor's Multi-Cultural Commission since 2012.
Kathie Darby - She says that Utah needs intelligent non-racist leaders.
Rep. Jeremy Peterson - I am opposed to abortion as a form of birth control. It is something that I believe is acceptable only when the life of the mother is at risk or in those rare cases of rape or incest. I believe we have a responsibility to our future generations and need to respect the awesome power we have been given to create that generation. As the uncle to four adopted nephews, I am a strong advocate for adoption placement when children are conceived unwanted.
Kathie Darby - She is an advocate of Planned Parenthood.
Rep. Jeremy Peterson - We live in a mixed society of many faiths and beliefs. Some of these beliefs are secular or might even be considered non-belief. Regardless, all of these views should have a place in the public square and should inform our deliberations as a society in trying to solve our common problems. As a person of faith myself, I recognize the important impact that my beliefs have in guiding my relationships with others and how I treat those around me. Religious participation of all kinds should be viewed as a worthwhile exercise that helps citizens improve themselves. The self mastery and personal responsibility taught by most faiths supports government in its efforts to provide for public safety and manageable public finances. For these reasons, expressions of faith should not be driven from the public square as somehow foreign to the purposes of government. While government should not mandate or advocate for any one religion, nor should it discriminate against followers of any faith or sect. Instead, government should view religious participation and expression as a general support to its goals of providing basic services and safety to its citizens.
Kathie Darby - She is on the record making comments about religion in our community.
I hope this comparison approach helps illustrate many of the bright lines separating my views from my opponent's on the issues. With that being said, I hope I can have your support on November 8th.